We are happy to report that Julien has been doing so well “post-procedure” that Dr. Mancias cleared him to fly home tomorrow (Sunday) rather than Tuesday. We originally scheduled our return flight for Tuesday in case he got sick from the procedure. Many children and adults can throw up from the influx of stem cells being taken from 1 part of their body and re-inserted into a different part of the body where they normally don’t reside. Fortunately our little super-baby did great and didn’t throw up from this. The concern with babies is dehydration too fast when this happens and he didn’t have any of these symptoms in the first 48 hours which is when that usually occurs if the patient is going to become ill. We have been advised to still give him a dose of anti-nausea medicine 1-hour before our flight to help with any motion sickness and liquid Motrin/Tylenol as needed.
Today, one of his doctors, Dr. Lleana (pictured) came to check on him one last time. She said he looked great and that he is doing very well. She was sad to see us go and she wanted a picture with Julien to remember him by. She, like the rest of the staff, is so wonderful with children and has such a soft spot for our sweet boy. The love and empathy is palatable and warms my heart as a parent. When Dr. Lleana arrived, she brought Julien a parting gift…an orange Mexico onesie for when he is 6-9 months old. A beautiful gift to remember this experience by:) I have stayed at the apartment most of the time since the procedure so I decided to go with our driver to downtown Monterrey while Ken stayed with Julien. I wanted to purchase a few souvenirs for him to have in his room to remember this experience by. I went to an open air market with different booths of vendors who sold a multitude of goods and I found a little sombrero, maracas, and a tiny guitar (pictured). I also couldn’t resist taking a picture of the largest bag of carrots and onions that I have ever seen!
We made a point of taking a TON of pictures of this trip so that one day we can share this journey with Julien when he is old enough to process it. Ken and I have been to Mexico before, both together and individually but this was a different experience than the traditional “tourist” experience that we have had before. This trip showed us that other countries, besides just the US, has made great advances in medicine and have made it affordable for others around the world to access it. We learned that the Hematology program here also treats patients with MS, Autism, Leukemia, Cerebral Palsy, etc. Some of these procedures are done in other parts of the world and others aren’t. We came here because this particular stem cell treatment is done differently here than in the US (the injection site is different, no placebo is given and he actually receives his own stem cells). Medicine is such an amazing thing and we are so grateful that we had this opportunity to come here. Julien’s neurologist, Dr. Berenson from Panda Neurology, told us about this procedure and we are hopeful for the benefits both seen and unseen that it can provide. We are hoping it helps with his “tone” and other developmental challenges that he “could” have down the line. I want to also thank Nicole….another patient who went through this process and has been an integral love and support system for us. She shared her journey with us and has kept in touch with us via text the entire time we have been down here to offer continued love and support. I could not have gotten through this week without her and my amazing husband. Lastly, we want to thank all the family and friends who supported us both emotionally and financially throughout this journey. You made this possible for us and for our sweet boy and it truly means the world to us. We will continue to keep everyone posted on his progress and development. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts:) #julienmiraclebaby, #HIE
Kenneth, Patricia & Julien